FRET CROWNING / FRET DRESSING
Our Fret Crowning Tool is suitable for most sizes of fret wire (see webstore for recommended use) - it doesn't chatter, restores roundness and is a comfortable, easy to use fret dressing tool.
FRET CROWNING THE TOP (SIDES) OF THE FRETS
After fret levelling, the frets should be dressed to leave a thin flat strip on the very top. This is essential for good intonation.
The underside of the tool is concave but also incorporates a gap at the centre. This original design ensures that the essential top centre portion of the fret is protected.
FRET CROWNING ABRASIVE
With its inherent polishing capability, emery is the preferred abrasive for final finishing and lapping of metal surfaces requiring high precision and smooth surface finish. Emery is less aggressive than diamond - but has inherent polishing characteristics. It is acknowledged as the best abrasive for finishing and polishing of special metals by engineers and jewellery makers.
A short length of the emery is single folded and trimmed so that a small amount protrudes from underneath the fret crowning tool as shown below.
A small shim is provided which can then be used to spread the abrasive after trimming.
The frets should be levelled before crowning. The photograph below shows levelled frets with excessive flat areas on the tops prior to crowning. Pre-marking the frets with a permanent pen is an ideal method for checking the fret dressing progress.
For best utilisation of the fret dressing abrasive, work on 3 or 4 frets at a time until crowning & polishing is satisfactory, then move onto the next group using fresh abrasive.
Ensure controls and hardware are protected from dust. If the instrument has a natural finish or is open grained then extra care should also be taken.
CROWNING AND POLISHING THE FRETS
When pressure is applied during use, the sides of the fret are rounded by the emery but the important fret crown is protected by the 'safe gap' in the centre of the tool.
As the emery becomes smoother the frets can be re-visited and polished with the same fret crowning abrasive.
When fresh/coarser abrasive is required, the allen screws can be untightened and new emery fed out.
Ensure that the fretboard protector supplied is used.
The photo below shows the same frets after crowning.
FRET DRESSING THE ENDS
The tool also makes an excellent job of dressing the fret ends!.